Image by war photographer Balazs Gardi, taken in Afghanistan one year ago today.
“The lone man should find his symphony within himself, not only in conceiving the music in abstract, but in being his own instrument. A lone man possesses considerably more than the twelve notes of the pitched voice. He cries, he whistles, he walks, he thumps his fist, he laughs, he groans. His heart beats, his breathing accelerates, he utters words, launches calls and other calls reply to him. Nothing echoes more a solitary cry than the clamour of crowds.”
(Symphonie pour un homme seul is a musical composition by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, composed in 1949â€“1950. It is an important early example of musique concrÃ¨te.)
“The city multiplies manâ€™s power to think, to remember, to educate, to communicate, and so to make possible associations which bridge and bypass nations, cultures. This mixture, this cosmopolitanism, is the chief source of the cityâ€™s vitality. And we must enlarge and enrich it as we move towards a new urban form.â€
In 1963, the National Film Board of Canada produced six 27-minute documentaries for a series entitled ‘Mumford On The City’. In this rare surviving footage of the seriesâ€™ closing titles, Mumford articulates the ideology of urbanism long before it reached its contemporary tipping point and presages essential issues we grapple with today as we try to understand and optimize our cities, from transportation to communication to violent protest.
The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of archival gems â€” from antique maps of the universe to the vintage design gems of the Works Progress Administration to fascinating films from the 1940s romanticizing bookmaking. Today, we turn to The Empire That Was Russia, a curious online exhibition of life in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. Culled here are some remarkable archival images of ethnic diversity in Russia during that period, which at the time included not only all the countries that would eventually become the Soviet Union, but also present-day Finland and Poland. With its 150 million people, of whom only about half were ethnic Russians, the country was home to some fascinating subcultures, captured here in restored and colored negatives by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii , photographer to the Tsar, with captions by the exhibition team.
Learn more about the fascinating process of making color images from Prokudin-Gorskiiâ€™s negatives, a technique known as â€œDigichromatography,â€ made all the more challenging by the fact that no known replica or illustration of the camera that Prokudin-Gorskii used exists today.
Good to see Candy Chang–fellow TED Fellow–andÂ catch up over wine yesterday night.
Candy is cofounder of Civic Center: an art/design studio based in New Orleans that works to make cities more comfortable for people. “Civic Center blends art, design, education, research, and urban planning to create spaces and tools that help people navigate their cities and improve their neighborhoods. We believe that public spaces should inspire conversation, make the machinery of the city more accessible, and restore a sense of dignity to the public realm.” And many of their projects offer simple, low tech solutions with exponential community-building results. Because, with a background in architecture, graphic design and urban planning, Candy combines these disciplines to make urban information and communication tools more accessible and engaging through field research, design and the creative use of public space. Her recent work includes a guide to street vending in New York City, air quality mapping on mobile devices, participatory post-it note installations on local rents, a little book about skyscrapers, and flash cards on tenants’ rights.
Take a look at Civic Center’s website right here.
Just back from photographing the Bill Clinton, the BushÂ´s ranch,Â and a nameless African dictator, he’s now landing in Mexico City to telenovela his heart out once again. And again. Here we go.
(Book by Aperture coming soon. Photos by Stefan, texts by yours truly. How fun.)
Images by Richard Mosse. From the Infra series.
“Kodak Aerochrome was developed during the Cold War in conjunction with the US military. Flying at altitude with a nose-mounted aerial camera, this film was able to cut through the ultraviolet haze, reading the infrared light spectrum bounced off the earth below. Chlorophyll in the landscapeâ€™s foliage reflects infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye. Meanwhile, the earth and other contours absorb it. The green camouflage netting above hidden enemy sites absorbs infrared light while the surrounding vegetation bounces it directly back into the sky. In this way, the film technology was used to reveal an enemyâ€™s location. By reading the landscapeâ€™s heat, the military had a way to perceive its hidden enemy. Over time, the Aerochrome technology became accessible to civilians, and was useful to farmers, hydrologists, geographers, cartographers, archaeologists – to anyone studying the landscape.
While I was in the Congo in early 2010 Kodak announced the discontinuation of the stock. Defense technologists now work in digital hyperspectral technologies. The false-colour Aerochrome was a thing of the past. I was dealing with an abandoned technology which I wanted to use reflexively, to work this military technology against itself in the hopes of revealing something about how photography represents a place like Congo, a place so deeply buried beneath and stifled by its representations.”
Full interview here.